Return to Policies

5.14 Use of University Property

Origination date: 10/1/93
Revised: 1/1/2000, 9/16/2003, 7/22/2004, 1/10/2006
Applicability: Academic Professionals, Administrators, Classified Staff, Faculty, Service Professionals, Student employees, Temporary employees, and affiliates.


The purpose of this policy is to clarify that all university property is to be used strictly for University business, and allows no expectation of privacy, as well as to clarify the limitations of access to prohibited materials in accordance with Arizona law.

Use of University Property

All desks, files, lockers, vehicles, computers (including the campus electronic mail system and network access), telephones, other office equipment, and other university-owned property, together with the interior spaces in them, belong to the university, and employees have no expectation of privacy in this equipment and in these locations. This property is subject to inspection by university personnel for purposes of inventory, cleanliness, maintenance, recovery of university property and other reasons determined by supervisory personnel at anytime, without limitation.

All property including, but not limited to land, buildings, facilities, equipment, vehicles, supplies or labor, belonging to the university or for which the university is responsible, is to be used solely for university purposes. Incidental personal use of university property such as bulletin boards, channels on the NAU Internet portal, and other property specifically made available for use by the university community shall not be considered prohibited use of university property.

All equipment belonging to the university which the employee has obtained permission to use at home, such as computers, etc., must be returned to the university upon a supervisor’s request or employee’s termination. A written inventory of such equipment should be maintained by the supervisor and employee. The supervisor of the terminating employee is responsible for the return of the university property in the possession of that employee.

Those using computer resources and networks belonging to Northern Arizona University must act in a responsible manner, in compliance with law and policies, and in accordance with the University’s Appropriate Use of Information Technology Resources and its accompanying Standards for the Appropriate Use of Information Technology Resources, which are accessible at  When using the shared NAU computer and network resource, the right of free expression and academic inquiry must be balanced by the rights of others to privacy, freedom from intimidation or harassment, protection of intellectual property, ownership of data, and security of information.

According to Arizona law, Arizona Revised Statutes Section 38-448, a university employee may not knowingly use university owned or leased computer equipment “to access, download, print or store any information infrastructure files or services that depict nudity, sexual activity, sexual excitement or sexual acts” unless the employee has written approval from the head of his/her academic or administrative unit.

The following classes of individuals are granted written approval by this policy to access, download, print and store material that would otherwise be prohibited by this statute. This approval is limited to purposes related to, and only to the extent necessary to fulfill, academic or employment duties at NAU. Uses outside of this scope are prohibited and may result in disciplinary action.

In addition, an employee authorized under this policy may authorize employees he or she directly supervises to access these materials for a purpose related to the authorized employee’s academic appointment or job duties.

Employees who are not covered by this approval may seek approval from the head of their academic or administrative unit for activities related to their academic appointment or job duties. A form for this purpose is available on the Human Resources website at

Access allowed by the policy to normally prohibited materials does not authorize any person to perform any act that is otherwise illegal under federal or state law.